1. “Toy Story”
Opening date: Nov. 22, 1995.
Box-office opening: No. 1 with three-day total of $29.1 million.
Domestic gross: $191.8 million.
Worldwide gross: $362 million.
Critical reception: 100 percent fresh rating on review aggregator RottenTomatoes.com.
2. “A Bug’s Life”
Opening date: Opened in wide release on Nov. 25, 1998.
Box-office opening: No. 1 with three-day total of $33.3 million.
Domestic gross: $162.8 million.
Worldwide gross: $358 million.
Critical reception: 91 percent fresh.
3. “Toy Story 2″
Opening date: Opened in wide release on Nov. 24, 1999.
Box-office opening: No. 1 with three-day total of $57.4 million.
Domestic gross: $245.9 million.
Worldwide gross: $485.8 million.
Critical reception: 100 percent fresh.
4. “Monsters, Inc.”
Opening date: Nov. 2, 2001.
Box-office opening: No. 1 with three-day total of $62.6 million.
Domestic gross: $255.9 million.
Worldwide gross: $529 million.
Critical reception: 95 percent fresh.
5. “Finding Nemo”
Opening date: May 30, 2003.
Box-office opening: No. 1 with three-day total of $70.3 million.
Domestic gross: $339.7 million.
Worldwide gross: $867 million.
Critical reception: 98 percent fresh.
6. “The Incredibles”
Opening date: Nov. 5, 2004.
Box-office opening: No. 1 with three-day total of $70.5 million.
Domestic gross: $261.4 million.
Worldwide gross: $635.6 million.
Critical reception: 97 percent fresh.
Opening date: June 9, 2006.
Box-office opening: No. 1 with three-day total of $60.1 million.
Domestic gross: $244.1 million.
Worldwide gross: $461.8 million.
Critical reception: 75 percent fresh.
Opening date: June 29, 2007.
Box-office opening: No. 1 with three-day total of $47 million.
Domestic gross: $206.4 million.
Worldwide gross: $620.4 million.
Critical reception: 96 percent fresh.
Opening date: June 27, 2008.
Box-office opening: No. 1 with three-day opening of $63.1 million.
Domestic gross: $223.8 million.
Worldwide gross: $532.5 million.
Critical reception: 96 percent fresh.
Opening date: Today.
11. “Toy Story 3″
Opening date: June 18, 2010.
Sources: Box-office figures from Hollywood.com Box-Office; critical ratings from RottenTomatoes.com.
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
For 14 years, it’s been all ups for Pixar
As thousands of balloons lift Carl Fredricksen’s house in the new film “Up,” the sky seems to be the limit for Pixar Animation Studios, the still-young Hollywood powerhouse behind the 3-D animated adventure.
“Up,” opening today, follows a septuagenarian (Edward Asner as the voice of Carl) who uses balloons to transport his home to the South American wilderness. It is Pixar’s 10th film since the studio bowed in 1995 with “Toy Story,” the first ever computer-generated feature film.
In the past 14 years, the masterminds behind the now-famed hopping lamp logo have gone under the sea with “Finding Nemo,” on a superhero quest with “The Incredibles” and into the future with “WALL-E.”
“What Pixar does especially well is they’ve combined art and commerce in a very effective way. I mean, they’ve bridged that gap,” said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst with Hollywood.com. “They have never compromised their artistic vision, and they continue to be a box-office force to be reckoned with.”
Pixar, now part of Disney, has opened nine straight films at No. 1 to become one of the most consistently successful brands in the movie industry, he said. The buzz around “Up” has ballooned so that a 10th straight box-office chart-topper seems a given, especially after it became the first animated film to open France’s prestigious Cannes Film Festival.
“You have to have great marketing to make a movie successful, and certainly Disney’s marketing and distribution team has been a key part of the success of Pixar,” he said. “And John Lasseter, who runs Pixar, he’s like a modern Walt Disney in terms of his creative vision.”
Sandip Patel, chief operating officer of Oklahoma City-based PL Studios, said Pixar is much more than an animation studio.
“It’s a software development company and they are their biggest client. Each film typically takes anywhere from three to four years to completely produce. … The studio is building and using new tools and technology as they have the demand for it by their artists. Many innovations come from ‘I’d like to be able to do this but we can’t currently. How do you think we could?’” he said.
PL Studios makes video-based training guides for Pixar’s revolutionary RenderMan software, used in the final phase of CGI to render images from computer models. Pixar created and has earned many awards for it, and most every film studio now uses RenderMan, he said.
Pixar also has developed many other technical advances, from z-buffering, a technique used to give CG scenes realistic depth, to anti-aliasing, a method to minimize distortion.
“It’s heavily driven by the story. The story trumps all to them,” Patel said.
Oklahoma City Museum of Art Film Curator Brian Hearn said Pixar’s focus on strong storytelling and well-developed characters has been vital to the studio’s achievement.
“They really have pushed that technology, but the fact that they use it in the service of storytelling is still I think what sets them apart from any other studio making animation,” he said.
While the prevailing Hollywood mindset seems to be sticking with safe formulas, The creative thinkers at Pixar have proven they’re willing to tell unique stories, whether following a virtually nonverbal trash-compacting robot in “WALL-E” or taking a 78-year-old widower on an adventure in “Up.”
“I think they have succeeded because they’ve taken risks, absolutely,” Hearn said. “And … they find that perfect balance between appealing to adults and kids.”
University of Oklahoma sophomore Stephanie Gonzales said her love for Pixar movies hasn’t faded since she was 5 years old and “Toy Story” came out. The music major has a ringtone from the movie on her cell phone, and She and her friends are planning to see “Up” in the theater, since it is the studio’s first 3-D release.
“I still love them, so I think they’re for everyone,” she said. “The storylines are all so good but they’re all so different. … I definitely think their movies will stand the test of time.”
Midwest City mom Charissa Byrne said Pixar’s films appeal to all four of her children, ages 12, 5, 4 and 1 ½. She loves watching them with her kids because of the memorable characters.
“You couldn’t have ‘Nemo’ without Dory,” she said, while her oldest daughter, Kaylee Warrior, added, “Like Boo, she’s like a real kid with her voice and her hair … with those pigtails that bounce up and down.”
For Dergarabedian, that goes back to Pixar’s stellar creative process.
“You forget you’re watching animation when you’re watching a Pixar movie. That’s how good they are.”
Canterbury Choral Society
Here is a preview of events going on in Oklahoma the weekend of May 29-31:
- Listen to Canterbury Choral Society’s “Bach Encounter,” a performance Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Mass in B Minor,” at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Civic Center, 201 N Walker. Information: 232-7464 or www.canterburyokc.com.
- Experience the Discorus Festival of Rock today with Buckcherry, Shinedown, Saving Abel, Static-X, Duff McKagan’s Loaded, Rev Theory, Halestorm and Burn Halo. The show will be at the Oklahoma City Zoo Amphitheatre, 2101 NE 50. Gates open at noon today. Information: www.zooamp.com.
- Laugh out loud when Red Dirt Improv performs its “Farewell to Spring” show at 7:15 p.m. Saturday at Istvan Gallery, 1218 N Western. Information: www.reddirtimprov.com.
Asian Festival (Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman Archives)
- Take in cultural foods, arts and crafts, live entertainment and more at the Asia Society of Oklahoma’s 23rd Annual Asian Festival from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Myriad Gardens. Information: 819-3652.
- See Celtic dancers and musicians perform at Celtic Extravaganza!, a fundraiser for the United Scottish Clans of Oklahoma, from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Full Circle Bookstore, 50 Penn Place. Information: 842-2900 or www.fullcirclebooks.com.
- Catch one-man band Bob Log III and his slide guitar, along with Willem Maker and El Paso Hot Button, at 10 p.m. Saturday at 66 Bowl, 3810 NW 39. Information: 946-2717.
Randy Rogers Band
- Hear Randy Rogers Band, Eli Young Band, Bleu Edmondson and Josh Abbott at 4:30 today at the Fifth Annual Wormy Dog Spring Jam in Bricktown. Gates open at 3 p.m. The concert will take place at the parking lot west of the Walnut Street Bridge. It is presented by the Wormy Dog Saloon and Bud Light. Information: (866) 977-6849 or www.protix.com.
- BARTLESVILLE – Take in the free outdoor concert and summertime activities at the seventh H.O.T. Street Party from 7 to 11 tonight. This event features a half-a-block ‘Kid Space’, food vendors, giveaways with live entertainment for kids and adults alike. It is set in downtown at Fourth and Johnstone. Information: www.hotstreetparty.org.
- See Jeff Hanson, The Separation and Student Film in concert at 8 tonight at The Conservatory, 8911 N Western. Information: www.myspace.com/conservatory.
- TULSA – Catch Austin, Texas-based duo Ghostland Observatory at 8:30 tonight at Cain’s Ballroom, 423 N Main. Doors open at 7 p.m. Information: (866) 443-8849 or www.cainsballroom.com.
- Listen to singer-songwriter Slaid Cleaves with Amelia White at 9 tonight at the Blue Door, 2805 N McKinley. Information: www.bluedoorokc.com.
- TULSA – Hear Framing Hanley at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Flytrap Music Hall, 514 E Second Street. Doors open at 6 p.m. Information: www.ticketstorm.com.
Journey and special guest Night Ranger will play a show this summer at Tulsa’s BOK Center, the venue announced this morning.
The show will be Aug. 5 at the arena, 200 S Denver.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. June 6. They will be available at www.bokcenter.com, at Reasor’s stores, at the venue’s Arby’s Box Office or by phone at (866) 7BOKCTR.
Journey, Heart and Cheap Trick played last summer at the Oklahoma City Zoo Amphitheatre. The high-energy sell-out show was the band’s first Oklahoma concert with lead singer Arnel Pineda.
Today’s featured event:
Hear singer-songwriter Slaid Cleaves at 9 tonight at the Blue Door, 2805 N McKinley.
For more information, go to www.bluedoorokc.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
The man of the hour smiles during the “George Strait: ACM Artist of the Decade All Star Concert.” The concert aired Wednesday to big ratings. (Associated Press photo)
The TV special “George Strait: ACM Artist of the Decade All Star Concert” helped CBS win Wednesday night in viewership, according to a news release from the network.
The tribute show to Strait, whom the Academy of Country Music named its Artist of the Decade for the 2000s, won its time period, according to Nielsen updated live plus same day ratings for May 27.
The special placed first in households (6.8/11) and viewers (10.63m), second in adults 25-54 (3.1/08), and averaged a 2.2/06 in adults 18-49.
The show featured a bevy of music stars performing and lauding Strait. Among the luminaries on the lineup: Garth Brooks, Toby Keith, Brooks & Dunn, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, LeAnn Rimes, Taylor Swift and more.
From 10 to 11 p.m., CBS’s “Criminal Minds Special” was first in households (5.8/10), viewers (8.93m), adults 25-54 (2.8/07) and adults 18-49 (2.0/06).
For the night, CBS was first in households (6.5/11) and viewers (10.06m), second in both adults 25-54 (3.0/08) and adults 18-49 (2.1/06).
Thanks to all you readers who visited BAM’s Blog on Wednesday during George Strait Day, especially those who may have been perusing the blog for the first time. Please come back to see what we’re up to here anytime.
Wynonna (Associated Press photo)
Country music star Wynonna will headline the 25th anniversary of the “Music City July 4th: Let Freedom Sing!” celebration in Riverfront Park in Nashville, Tenn.
The show line-up will also include The Gabe Dixon Band, the Grammy-winning Nashville Symphony Orchestra and Nashville actor Barry Scott. The world-renowned Fisk Jubilee Singers will perform the National Anthem, according to a news release.
“Singing with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra? My favorite. Being in Nashville for the July 4th weekend with my family to celebrate the South’s largest fireworks display? Even better. Using my gift to encourage and inspire others during this tough economic time? My purpose. This event is the total package for me and I’m going to sing it like nobody’s business,” said Wynonna in the release.
Downtown festivities will begin at noon with the free Family Fun Zone featuring inflatables for all ages, sponsored by Coca-Cola. Pre-show live music will take place from 3 – 6 p.m. on the NowPlayingNashville.com stage. The official two-hour concert will kick off at 7 p.m. and will conclude with the South’s largest fireworks show at approximately 9:10 p.m. arranged by Pyro Shows and choreographed to music by the NSO. All events are free and open to the public.
“Nashville’s July 4th celebration is one of the city’s biggest events each year,” said Butch Spyridon, president of Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau, in the release. “The celebration has become a tradition for locals and a must-see for visitors, drawing approximately 100,000 people into our downtown each year.”
“Music City July 4th : Let Freedom Sing!” is produced by the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau for the City of Nashville and sponsored by the City of Nashville, Metro Parks, 103 WKDF, 104.5 The Zone, Camper’s Corner, Coca-Cola and NowPlayingNashville.com.
Hotel and attraction packages are available by calling the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 657-6910 or online at www.visitmusiccity.com.
The All-American Rejects
From left, Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox and Optimus Prime in the sequel.
Oklahoma alt-pop rockers The All-American Rejects will contribute their song “Real World” to the soundtrack of the blockbuster sequel “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”
Reprise Records will release the soundtrack to the hotly anticipated feature film on June 23, the day before the film opens in theaters, according to a news release.
the sequel to the 2007 Oscar®-nominated summer blockbuster Transformers, hits theaters nationwide.
The film’s director and executive producer Michael Bay asked Warner Bros. Records’ multiplatinum rock band Linkin Park to provide the sonic backdrop to the live-action robot fantasy film. Not only did the band write and record the film’s theme song, titled “New Divide,” specifically for the soundtrack, they were also asked by Bay, Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer, and award-winning composer Steve Jablonsky to contribute to the score. “New Divide” is currently available for purchase on iTunes.
“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: The Album” also features music from Green Day (who contribute “21 Guns” – a song from their new album “21st Century Breakdown”), Taking Back Sunday, The Used, Cavo, The Fray, Staind, Nickelback, Cheap Trick and more.
In addition to the original soundtrack, Reprise will be releasing “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: The Score” on June 23.
Opening in theaters on June 24, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” is the sequel to the 2007 smash “Transformers.” Based on Hasbro’s iconic toy line, the film stars Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and John Turturro.
It will be Linkin Park’s second project with Bay. The first “Transformers” film featured the band’s smash hit single “What I’ve Done,” which rocketed to No. 1 on both Billboard’s Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks and Hot Modern Rock Tracks charts. The double-platinum-selling track was one of five top 10 singles that appeared on the group’s most recent album, “Minutes To Midnight,” which sold more than 6 million copies.
In “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) again joins with the Autobots against their sworn enemies, the Decepticons. Michael Bay directs from a screenplay written by Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman.
Here is the song list for the soundtrack:
1. Linkin Park “New Divide”
2. Green Day “21 Guns”
3. Cavo “Let It Go”
4. Taking Back Sunday “Capital M-E”
5. The Fray “Never Say Never”
6. Nickelback “Burn It To The Ground”
7. The Used “Burning Down The House”
8. Theory Of A Deadman “Not Meant To Be”
9. The All-American Rejects “Real World”
10. Hoobastank “Don’t Think I Love You”
11. Staind “This Is It”
12. Avenged Sevenfold “Almost Easy”
13. Cheap Trick “Transformers The Fallen Remix”
The Rock Cafe in Stroud was damaged in a fire last spring but will re-open Friday. (Photo by Paul B. Southerland/The Oklahoman Archives)
Sally Carrera from “Cars” Guy Fieri John Lasseter
The historic Stroud landmark the Rock Cafe will re-open Friday, owner Dawn Welch has confirmed for NewsOK.
The iconic Route 66 eatery was damaged by fire on May 20, 2008. Welch promised to reopen the restaurant, which has served celebrities including Robert Plant, Bryant Gumbel and “Simpsons” creator Matt Groenig.
Welch was the inspiration for the blue Porsche Sally Carrera in the 2006 Pixar animated movie “Cars,” which pays tribute to Route 66.
In his recent conversation with Food Network personality Guy Fieri, our own Food Dude Dave Cathey learned that Pixar chief and “Cars” writer-director John Lasseter has vowed to replace the cafe’s Pixar artwork that was lost in the fire.
Fieri previously featured the Rock Cafe on his hit foodie road show “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” which was in Oklahoma recently to highlight some other state eateries.
Personally, I can’t wait to get back to the Rock Cafe for one of their great, juicy burgers, so I think this is great news.
Speaking of Pixar, check out my retrospective on the animation studio, which includes a slideshow with fun facts about all 10 of Pixar’s films, and my review of the new movie “Up” on Friday here at the blog.
Tulsa’s Dfest music festival and conference today announced the second round of artists to headline the 2009 Dfest.
The newly announced artists include Cake, Ra Ra Riot, Mates of State, Dengue Fever, The Cool Kids, Carney, Ian Moore, Here II Here and Manda Mosher. Organizers also announced a long list of unsigned artists scheduled to perform, according to a news release that my colleague George Lang of Staticblog passed along to me.
Dfest is set for July 24-25 in downtown Tulsa, and it sounds like it will be an awesome event this year.
“With roughly two months to go until show time, we are in awe of the way this year’s Dfest has mushroomed into our biggest and most diverse event ever,” said Tom Green, Dfest founder, in the release. “The support and enthusiasm of our new sponsors, partners and venues has created an unprecedented level of energy and excitement.”
Previously announced headliners are The Black Crowes, Blue October, Gil Mantera’s Party Dream, Gogol Bordello, Ozomatli, The Uglysuit, Dub Trio, and Joe Pug. Emerging artists Adam’s Attic, Ali Harter, Callupsie, Coco Jones, Crocodile and Daniel Walcher have also been previously announced. There are about 25 more emerging artists who will be added to the lineup within the next two weeks.
The conference side of the festival has been expanded this year to include the charities the Grammy Foundation (www.grammyfoundation.org) and MusiCares (www.musicares.com) for emerging artists and managers. A music manager’s forum will also take place during the conference. Hosted by the Music Managers Forum – US, this new partnership gives participants the opportunity to discuss the issues and problems facing the music industry.
Yoga and conscious living also have been added to the conference, in collaboration with wellness leaders around the state, to offer conference attendees a more complete approach to success in the music industry.
Fueled by a diverse collection of national and top local acts, the high-energy music festival broke attendance records in 2008 and is positioned to be even larger in 2009. Dfest 2008 featured 150 artists representing more than 20 musical genres on a dozen stages in downtown Tulsa’s historic Blue Dome District.
The two-day multi-genre music festival fused with a music industry conference was established in 2002 to help emerging artists gain exposure and connect with the music industry. The conference consists of music panels, a tradeshow, music clinics and artist mentoring. Each night, national recording artists perform on large outdoor festival stages while top local, regional and national emerging artists perform on a multitude of outdoor stages, indoor venues and club stages.
Dfest has quickly become one of the top independent music conferences in the nation as well as the Midwest’s largest music festival of its type, and a hot bed for showcasing exciting new diverse music talent. For more information, go to www.dfest.com.
After the break, check out the complete list of announced Dfest headliners, unsigned acts and emerging artists. (more…)